Youth Ministry

Youth Programs at St. Paul’s are a vibrant part of our ministry. Ably directed by Kelly Moore-Spencer, they engage teenagers in the life of the church here at home and open their eyes to the Lutheran community at large.

ELCA National Youth Gathering 2015 Detroit



Heidelberg Project – Signing Names on Yellow Guest House


 Ford Museum

1-IMG_6147Sunday School

Confirmation Program – This is a cooperative program with 7 other Lutheran congregations in York. The Youth meet monthly over a period of 3 years at one of the participating churches; currently classes are being held at St. Paul’s. Studies are jointly led by Pastors from several of the churches and the mingling of congregations and leaders offers an enriched environment for Bible study and self- awareness as Children of the Church. Confirmation Sunday is in April or May when our St. Paul’s Confirmands become full members in the body of Christ.  This year Confirmation Sunday was May 15, 2016.  One of our young people successfully completed his instruction through the York Conference Catechetical Program professed his faith in Christ Jesus and will assume greater responsibility in the life of the congregation.  Thank you for showing your support and encouragement to this young member of St. Paul’s congregation.

Youth Group & National Youth Gathering Trips – This is the most exciting of our programs. Every 3 years ELCA Youth Gatherings bring youth and adult leaders together around a theme that is integrated into all program components. These components include Bible study, service, worship, focused study areas, experiential learning, special events, dances and tours.

The next Gathering “Called to Serve” will be in Detroit, Michigan, July 15-19, 2015. Our York youth work hard on fund-raising and prepare for their trip by raising money through such events as youth-cooked lunches, dinner auctions, and Kid-for-Hire weeks.  Youth grades 6-12 see “How you can serve?”  We started our journey on March 2.

Thank you to everyone that helped to support the youth with donations and prayers during the Mother’s Day Cake Fundraiser.  The youth raised $450 for their trip to Detroit in 2015.

Are you wondering what St. Paul’s youth and chaperones that will be attending the gathering will be doing while in Detroit?  There are 3 main days filled with amazing opportunities for our youth.

One day our youth will be spending the day offering their service in and around Detroit.  As a group we may be:

  • Helping to board up blighted homes to make safer environments for families to live, work and play.
  • Planting or weeding urban gardens and meeting the people who depend on these gardens for their existence.
  • Work with Detroiters who are recycling abandoned tires from city streets, re-purposing them into welcome mats and flip-flops and some will work side-by–side with Detroit school students as part of a summer reading program.
  • Helping to transform neighborhoods from urban bleak to urban chic by working with local artists’ to enliven neighborhoods through art.

On another day we will gather with our synod and our bishop for a synod meet up / block party type of event.  We will hear young people from our synod tell their stories, we may even hear Bishop Dunlop’s story.  By the end of the Synod day, our youth will be able to tell a story that transcends personality to reflect God’s profound truth about whom they are and who others are in Christ.

The third program day will be like a carnival with a purpose.  This day we will explore 500,000-square-foot grounds filled with activities, booths of ELCA organizations, representatives from ELCA colleges and universities, games, music, friends, food and lots of amazing opportunities to ponder the risks that God is asking them to take for the sake of their faith.

Every evening during the Gathering we will join together with all the Gathering attendees for a large gathering that will include speakers, scripture, music, testimonies of faith, and entertainment.  We will enjoy this time together with existing and new friends.

The final preparations for the Youth Gathering are upon us.  Meetings, fundraisers, travel arrangements, outings, bible studies, worship and prayers will be filling the next 10 months.  The youth and leaders that will be attending the Gathering from St. Paul’s will build a friendship and form a family with each other before leaving for Detroit in July of 2015.

The first Sunday of each month will be “Detroit Sunday” the youth and leaders will worship, enjoy a meal and have a meeting together, these monthly gatherings will assist them in their journey to Detroit.

The first fundraiser of the season was held on November 2.  A fabulous meal was prepared by the youth at St. Paul’s Café and held in Fellowship Hall immediately following the 10:30 liturgy.    A fixed price meal featuring chicken breast, meatloaf, soup du-jour, salad, red  potatoes, peas, assorted drinks and desserts was prepared and served by the youth.  A $10 donation was received to  support them in garnering the funds needed to attend the National Youth Gathering next summer.  Take out meals were also available.

youth cafe

During the liturgies you will notice that all the youth attending the gathering will be serving as acolytes, ushers, communion assistants, singing in the choir, playing bells, deacons and lectors.  This is part of their journey to Detroit.  There are many different ways that they will be serving God during their journey.  Take a few minutes to say “Hi” and get to know these amazing youth and be sure to ask them “Why” they are so excited about this journey.

Summer Camp – Camp Nawawkwa and Camp Kirkenwald offer overnight, one week camping experiences. All camp programs include games, swimming, campfires, Bible study, crafts, songs, Christ-centered worship and nature activities. They are led by well-trained caring counselors.

 Counselor Njinga & Bill Banta


Recently, older students from our sister congregation in Tanzania have traveled to Central PA to be counselors at the camps. It is a wonderful exchange of cultures and worship practices.